At the International Commons Conference November 2010 in Berlin, there was also a workshop on Commoning through the Crisis: creating commons power and resisting enclosures and cooptation: “Power, therefore, is an important analytical tool in understanding social change”. See also in German: Silke Helfrich: Mit Big Society haben Commons nix gemein
Author Archives: Ann St
On December 7th, thousands in France and elsewhere have announced that they will withdraw their savings from the bank. The call (www.bankrun2010.com) was initiated by an interview with football star Eric Cantona (see video). Several Facebook groups have been created, and the German edition of the Financial Times fears a banking crash from below.
La Via Campesina: “COP 16 is doomed to failure”
The sixth Conference of Parties of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP 16) is already seen as a failure that will affect the future of humanity, as its only result will be to strenghthen the intention of TNCs (Trans-National Corporations) to divert money away from the climate crisis” stated Alberto Gomez from La Via Campesina international coordination.
Many websites advertise commercial PDF readers to read PDF documents. Imagine a sign on a motorway telling you that you can only use a certain car to use the motorway… So the Free Software Foundation has now started a campaign against non-free software advertisements on public websites. Free PDF readers are available at PDFreaders.org
Nobody can survive without water, water is necessary for all life on earth. For the first time since the Universal Declaration of Human Rights was adopted 60 years ago, the UN General Assembly is finally poised to recognize the Human Right to Water and Sanitation. By the end of July 2010, the General Assembly will consider an historic resolution brought to the UN member states by the Bolivian government.
July 22 is an international day of action to protest against multinational corporations and pollution, calling for the human right to water and sanitation.
One and a half billion people across the world lack drinking water and another two billion lack clean water generally. In 20 years’ time these numbers will have doubled. Agricultural and industrial pollution is degrading the quality of fresh water supplies everywhere.
Billions of people are suffering because the world is not focused on providing water and sanitation for all. A strong UN General Assembly resolution will signal that water and sanitation is key priority for the international community. The date set for UN member states to consider the resolution is Wednesday, July 28th.
What is left after the World Cup?
The FIFA Soccer World Cup in South Africa – a critical parody. Soccer stadiums were built, not schools, gains are being made by a few, many are left with debt.
In a short animation video, radical sociologist David Harvey asks if it is time to look beyond capitalism, towards a new social order that would allow us to live within a system that could be responsible, just and humane. View his full lecture at the RSA (Royal Society for the encouragement of Arts, Manufactures and Commerce).
You can’t imagine a more just, more sustainable planet, without also imagining a new kind of city. More than half of the world’s population is urban, and cities often amplify many of the problems we face as a planet: inequality, violence, pollution, isolation. Luckily, people around the world are joining forces to re-imagine how we design and live in cities, and they’ve come up with a number of exciting proposals!
The term “commons” occurs in a variety of historical contexts. First of all, the term came up in relation to land enclosures during pre- or early capitalism in England; second, in relation to the Italian autonomia movement of the 1960s; and third, today, in the context of file-sharing networks, but also increasingly in the alter-globalization movement. In a public interview, Massimo De Angelis and Stavros Stavrides explain their interest in the commons.
Despite (or because of) the crisis, investors see opportunities in Greece for more privatisation and for Public Private Partnership (PPP) projects.
The Business Monitor International (BMI) considers Greece’s infrastructure sector “one of the most attractive in Europe” and lists state-owned assets as an example: “Parts of state owned railway group, OSE are expected to be on the list, as well as non-controlling stakes in utilities such as: EYDAP, owner and operator of water and wastewater systems in Athens; EYATH, owner and operator of water and wastewater systems in Thessaloniki; and, DEPA, the owner and operator or natural gas infrastructure in Greece. In total, the government is hoping to raise close to EUR1.5bn from this venture.”
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In April 2010 a Peoples’ Conference on Climate Change was held in Cochabamba, Bolivia. A Final Declaration was adopted on April 22. There were interesting discussions with activists from indigenous movements, for instance on the concept of “living well“. “We suffer the severe effects of climate change, of the energy, food and financial crises. This is not the product of human beings in general, but of the existing inhuman capitalist system, with its unlimited industrial development. It is brought about by minority groups who control world power, concentrating wealth and power on themselves alone. Concentrating capital in only a few hands is no solution for humanity, neither for life itself, because as a consequence many lives are lost in floods, by intervention or by wars, so many lives through hunger, poverty and usually curable diseases.”
Monday March 22 is World Water Day. To mark the day, TVO Canada, Ontario’s public educational media organization, will air a week of water-themed programming featuring the world premiere of the Canadian documentary Water on the Table on March 24, 2010 (written, directed and produced by Liz Marshall), and encores of films that examine political, economic and environmental issues dealing with water quality and availability.
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The Story of Bottled Water, releasing March 22, 2010, employs the Story of Stuff style to tell the fast-paced, fact-filled story of manufactured demand—how you get Americans to buy more than half a billion bottles of water every week when it already flows from the tap. Over five minutes, the film explores the bottled water industry’s attacks on tap water and its use of seductive, environmental-themed advertising to cover up the mountains of plastic waste it produces. The film concludes with a call to take back the tap, not only by making a personal commitment to avoid bottled water, but by supporting investments in clean, available tap water for all.